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capital of old Brabant, now of Belgium, of Germanic origin, from brocca "marsh" + sali "room, building," from Latin cella (see cell). It arose 6c. as a fortress on an island in a river. As a type of carpet, from 1799; as a type of lace, from 1748. Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera) attested from 1748 (first written description is from 1580s).
c.1600, "Low Germany and the Netherlands," from the Latin name of the territory near here occupied by the Belgæ, a Celtic tribe. Adopted 1830 as the name of a new nation formed from the southern part of the former United Kingdom of the Netherlands.